When Kaua‘i Medical Clinic Pediatricians Drs. Brigitte Carreau and Carl Yu learned that nearly half of Kaua‘i keiki showed below-average reading skills when they enter kindergarten, the duo decided to bring the nationwide program Reach Out and Read to the Garden Isle.
“There had been programs on O‘ahu, Maui and the Big Island, but we were lucky to be the first site on this island,” says Yu.
The program was established at the main Lihu‘e clinic in January 2017.
Later that year, KMC incorporated its Kapa‘a office as a satellite location so that physicians there could distribute books to their patients.
“Something all kids should be involved in is coming to their regular checkups. This program gives us a chance to start reinforcing good reading habits at a young age,” Yu says.
Literacy is an important part of a child’s development and being able to do well in life.
Through Reach Out and Read, pediatricians provide free books during a child’s well-child visit. They also discuss with parents the importance of reading, demonstrate how to read with keiki at different ages, and give families a new book to take home and read together.
“Literacy is an important part of a child’s development and being able to do well in life. We get to reinforce that importance by giving families a new book to take home and read together with their children,” Yu says.
Since the program’s inception, KMC pediatricians have distributed more than 4,000 books to the keiki on Kaua‘i.
“We know that this is a winning program!” Carreau says. “We know that it makes a difference not only in children’s lives, but in the family’s life. We are hopeful in encouraging others to become part of the Reach Out and Read program because it’s a win-win program. Everybody benefits.”
To schedule an appointment with a KMC pediatrician near you, call 245-1561 or visit WilcoxHealth.org/Pediatrics.